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Thursday, August 28, 2008
What I’m Reading Now: Robots Killing Stuff… What More Do You Want?!?!?!
“I’m Jesus with a laser gun… and you’re all going to hell!” These words belong to a Heart Breaker series 1373 model robot assassin named Scud. Scud: The Disposable Assassin is a fascinating, not so distant future, story about how revenge can be bought from a vending machine. The main character’s name is Scud, who is a robot from one such vending machine programmed for only one thing, vengeance. But who’s vengeance exactly? The function of a scud is it's first purchased by someone with a grudge. The person then sets the level of “vengeance” he/she wants and the robot eliminates the target and concludes with the self-destruction of the robot. What makes our hero different than the average scud is that he becomes self-aware and learns that if he destroys his target he will be destroyed. Upon this revelation the story begins and becomes a story of survival and of course… robots killing stuff. So who creates such a crazy and maniacal comic? The creator and artist is Rob Schrab, a comic creator, writer, actor and film producer. His most recent work was writing for the Sarah Silverman Show which airs on Comedy Central. Kate Fruend (Rob’s other half) states, in the forward, that, “The truth is, Scud’s creation was born from rejection. There’s no coincidence that the protagonist adorns a broken heart on his chest. Rob was dumped by a girl he dated for less than a month and instead of wailing in his own pity, he decided to draw a comic to impress her. Ironically after the completion of the first issue, he had completely forgotten about the girl.” Nineteen others followed the first issue and Scud gathered a sizable fan base but in 1998 Schrab ended the Scud series on a cliffhanger and stated that he did not like the direction it was taking. After a seven-year hiatus, Image Comics approached Schrab with an offer to repackage the scud series and Schrab took the opportunity to finish the series as he intended with a four issue miniseries. Schrab finished the series in May of this year and Image collected scud in a twenty-four-issue volume of Scud: The Disposable Assassin. The series inspired two video games and a copious (word of the day. meaning a lot; use it, abuse it, wear it out) amount of one-shots and spin-offs. The “whole shebang” collection costs a cool $30 but is a little more than a dollar an issue and is totally worth the price. It is a great science fiction pulp collection and is one of the best original ideas I have stumbled upon for a long time. And as confusing as this book and this article is, let me leave you with a confusing quote… “Revenge is a dish best served by a robot.”